Short stories (each chapter is a story)
real people "trapped" in their own mind


1. Tom

Tom Zack hated his mother. He hated her and the hate grew from day to day. He thought she was stupid, and he hated stupidity. The short blond kid with the dark, serious eyes seemed to be an average 5 years old child but his behavior and thoughts were of a much older person. He was extraordinary, and he knew it. He enjoyed his uniqueness, his singularity, which separated him from the rest of the world. They all were afraid of him, and they hated him for that. He, on the other side, laughed at them for not being able to hate in silence, for being so weak. He, however, didn’t count himself weak. The respect he got from everyone, including his mother, made him feel strong.


Never big or tall, with a pale skin and almost non-existent muscles he was the most respected and feared person in the town, and he loved it. The feeling of the power he had, controlling these empty minds. It fulfilled him. They were his “dolls” and in this game he was always the judge, sitting on his chair, watching. When the time came he could move one of the dolls, add or remove settings, playing with their thoughts, and feelings, creating chaos.


Terrified by her son’s behavior, Tom’s mother, Mrs. Zack, tried to take him to a psychologist. There, on a large chair sat this “doctor” and talked. He thought he understood Tom. He told Tom it’s ok to feel lonely, and sad, but he cannot try to express these feelings through bullying the people around.


The doctor told Tom that he needs to talk about what he feels and not be shy to ask for help. The doctor kept talking and talking but Tom didn't listen to him. Every now and then the doctor stopped his speech, staring at Tom. As a response, Tom nodded. It seems to satisfy the doctor for the next 20 minutes, until the next stop.


Tom, on the other hand, continued to think. The things he heard from the doctor didn’t match the reality- Tom didn’t feel lonely, or sad. His little “game” made him happy, but it wasn’t a cover for something deeper. In his mind, Tom told himself the doctor is stupid. Just like everyone else. The only difference between the doctor and the rest of the town, thought Tom, was that the doctor was smart enough to fool them around, using long words to seem like he knows something the rest didn’t. “Well,” thought Tom, “you cannot fool me”. This thought amused him and he smiled. It cheered a little the doctor, who thought that Tom’s smile is a sign of Tom’s agreement to what the doctor said.


Mrs. Zack kept taking her son to the psychologist for a while. Tom seemed happy and the doctor told her they are making progress. She, however, didn’t recognize any changes, and after couple of months had passed and nothing changed, she decided to stop. With a deep sigh, she cut her hope for having a normal child. Sometimes she felt that Tom knew what she thought, and she felt ashamed and guilty, for not loving her son the way he is. However Tom didn’t say anything, and slowly the guilt was gone, leaving a big hole in her chest.


The hate of the kids around Tom led them to a lot of clashes. They would come to him as a big group, ready to hit him, to crash him. They were bigger, and stronger than Tom, and he was all by himself. Strange, though, he almost always, managed to win the fight before it even began.


Every time, they went back to their homes, humiliated, hating him even more. He played with their minds, so even when they win the fight they will still feel humiliated, ashamed, and full of hunger for revenge. He tricked them, made them harm themselves, even though they didn’t mean to. That way, he knew, they would come again, and again, and again until they will be too weak, until they will believe they are too weak.


It was early afternoon in the beginning of the spring. The sun was hot and bright, warming the ground and making all it touched yellow and dry. The mall was full of loud, sweaty people who came to find a safe place from the hot streets. Part of the parking slot behind the building was closed with a fence. There, right on the ground was a pile of snow. Most of the snow didn’t survive and soon after was turned to a liquid, leaving a small pile of snow in a big puddle that became bigger and bigger as the snow melted. A group of tired children lay on the snow. They wore short, wet from the snow clothes, and no shoes. The pile was full of footsteps and partly broken short snow walls, the only survivor of a war.


Wandering through the forest of sweaty, hairy legs and old shoes, Tom Zack was trying to find his way out of the mall. The short blond kid with the dark, serious eyes seemed to be an average 5 years old child but his behavior and thoughts were of a much older person. As he arrived to the parking slot he saw the lying kids. He knew they hated him but he himself couldn’t feel anything but pity for their stupidity and ignorance. He shook his head and came closer to the kids. They looked at him with a deadpan, tired look that made him feel satisfied. “You see” he said, “I told you I will win this war sooner or later”.


The war, however, wasn’t over.



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